MARSHALL - Tanya Olsen, speaking on behalf of Broadmoor Valley community members, addressed Marshall School Board members during the public forum portion of the regular meeting Monday.
Along with 20 other concerned residents in attendance, Olsen said she was seeking a solution to "a very inconvenient and dangerous" change to the community's bus stop.
Instead of the usual bus stop inside the community, a new stop - at the junction of Timberlane Drive and South Saratoga Street - was established on Friday.
"I have spoken with the manager of Broadmoor Valley (Ben Schmitt) about this (Monday) and he explained to me a little bit why they decided to pull the buses," Olsen said. "Eventually, they're going to be pulling more than just busses out of there. It'll probably include garbage trucks, too. They are planning on repairing the roads, but they don't want them to be destroyed again. So that is the background of what he told me."
Residents were prompted to initiate a change after receiving a notice from Marshall Public Schools, reporting the district was no longer permitted to bring school busses into the park.
Superintendent Klint Willert and business director Bruce Lamprecht authorized the letter to parents after receiving word from Broadmoor owner Paul Schierholz that the buses were forbidden to enter into the community, with the issue being the deteriorating condition of the roads.
"I'm very frustrated with what has happened," Willert said. "We're open to suggestions. I don't know what we can or can't do, but we want to provide the service."
Along with Willert and Lamprecht, Southwest Coaches owners Jim and Tom Hey, who manage the district transportation, reported they had been in previous contact with the management and ownership of Broadmoor, requesting repair and improvement of the private roads in the community, but said nothing was done.
"They said they'd fix it by spring," Tom Hey said.
One women in attendance said she had lived in the Broadmoor community for a number of years and that no road repairs had taken place in that time.
For that reason, Olsen said, a petition with 57 signatures was filed against the owner Monday.
"This is very inconvenient for students and parents, especially parents with small, grade-school or pre-school-age students that also have infants, like I do," she said. "I have a preschool-age daughter and an infant. It would be very inconvenient to have to drag an infant out in the middle of winter to get my daughter to the bus stop, which is halfway across the park."
In response to an inquiry about the number of district students who live in the Broadmoor community, Lamprecht reported that there were 45.
"There's a lot of little kids," attendee Veronica Solis said. "And, we just found out (Monday) that there is a sex offender living in the park. It's really dangerous for the kids to have to walk."
Though she wasn't sure if it was possible, Olsen offered a temporary suggestion.
"They haven't pulled the community transit-sized buses yet or the buses from Head Start yet, but maybe it could be possible to have a van or a smaller bus come in to get students," Olsen said. "Preferably, it would be for all students, but even if it's just for some of the smaller students. It could be a nice compromise."
According to the Heys, the owner will likely, unfortunately, forbid all buses and garbage truck in the near future as well.
"It's just a matter of time," Jim Hey said.
Currently, the roads "are in sorry shape," Willert said, pointing out that there are also safety concerns for students, like the jostling and shaking involved, because of the sizable potholes.
"They've said they would make repairs the last five years, but they've never followed through," he said.
Lamprecht also sympathized with the residents.
"They're the ones paying the rent and the freight is evidently going elsewhere besides repairing the roads," he said.
The board also approved seven action items, including the authorization of administration to take all steps necessary to enter into a joint powers agreement and cost sharing agreement for the development of a $2.8 million track and field complex with Southwest Minnesota State University, utilizing the district lease levy, with the knowledge that the effort is contingent upon approval by the Minnesota Department of Education and the final agreement with SMSU.